Ethiopia: Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in Eight Years

Addis Ababa — It has been eight years since Ethiopia embarked on one of its mega projects, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), being built on Nile River.

At 6.45 Gigawatts, upon completion, the dam will be the largest in Africa and the 7th largest in the world.

Here are some of major activities related to the GERD.

· On 31 December 2010, a 4.8 billion USD contract agreement was signed with Salini Imporgilo, which builds several hydropower dams in Ethiopia and the world.

· On April 2, 2011, Ethiopia officially launched the project, which was originally designed to generate 5,250 MW power, with the intention of fully financing it itself. A total of 12.4 billion Birr was collected from the public alone over the past years.

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· In November 2011, the Electromechanical and steel structure works were awarded to METEC. Electromechanical and steel structure works include turbines, generators, 500KV electricity distribution lines, steel works, and others.

· In August 2014, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan irrigation ministers signed agreement to conduct two impact assessment studies to gauge effects of the dam on downstream countries.

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· In September 2014, the three nations announced the establishment of a technical committee comprising of four experts from each country.

· On 23 March 2015, leaders of the three countries signed the “declaration of principles” to enhance cooperation.

· In December 2017, Egypt proposed that the World Bank conduct an independent study, an offer Ethiopia rejected.

· In 2018, Ethiopia announced that the construction of GERD, which was completed 66.24 percent and expected to be completed in 2017, needed additional four years for completion because of delay in electromechanical works.

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· In August 2018, Ethiopia terminated the electromechanical contract with Metals and Engineering Corporation (METEC).

· In 2019, seven contracts were signed with foreign companies to resume electromechanical and steel structure works. CGGC, Sino Hydro, Voith, GE Hydro France, and XD are among the contractors.

· In February 2019, Sudanese, Egyptian and Ethiopian leaders decided to provide a high-level political umbrella to support the talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

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